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Questions tagged [drums]

Drums are a subset of percussion instruments played by beating a "head" stretched over a hollow "shell."

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51
votes
10answers
111k views

Is there a “standard” or “typical” drum kit layout?

I am dipping my toes in the water of getting a "real" drum kit -- by drumming standards, it's still pretty crap since it's (basically) the Alesis DM6 entry level electronic drum kit. But one thing I ...
49
votes
10answers
20k views

Why can't drums produce melody?

A note is a vibration at a certain frequency. A drum produces a tone with a certain pitch much like a string percussed with a mallet. Why is a drum unfit for playing a melody while a string inside a ...
32
votes
11answers
10k views

Why are there many guitarists, but only one drummer in a band?

In a band, there will be many guitarists. However, there will always be only one drummer. Why can't there be more than one drummer in a band? Are there any cultural or musical reasons behind it or ...
26
votes
12answers
25k views

What are the pros and cons of Traditional Grip vs. Matched Grip for snare and drumset?

So far I've just been learning matched grip for my snare and drumset playing, but I see of lot of people using traditional grip as well. I'm curious, what are some of the pros and cons of matched vs. ...
23
votes
4answers
32k views

Why do drummers put (duct) tape on their drums?

I've seen quite a few drummers put (duct) tape on their snare drums. Why do they do it? Does it reduce volume or change the tone? Can you use it for other drums, eg toms, as well?
21
votes
3answers
12k views

When playing drums behind the beat, what instruments define the actual beat?

As a drummer, I'm trying to improve my micro-time to put more feeling in the grooves I play. For certain songs (ballads for example), you usually try to get a "laid-back" feeling by playing slightly ...
20
votes
6answers
35k views

Drumsticks: Nylon Tip vs Wooden Tip

I am curious about the differences between Nylon Tip and Wooden Tip. What are the pros and cons of these two?
20
votes
7answers
8k views

How to reliably execute a snare drum rimshot?

A standard snare drum rim shot, as I understand it, requires the stick to contact the drum head and rim simultaneously. I'm having trouble finding the appropriate angle (the majority of the time I ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

How to properly tune drum heads?

I would like to know if there are any tips on tuning drumheads; I keep hearing harmonics.
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How to choose drum pitches?

I've been learning Ableton Live with an interest in making electronic music, and this has been my first exposure to drums whatsoever. Of course, I'm not dealing with a real drum set, but rather an ...
18
votes
10answers
848 views

Keeping time when tired

When I'm playing late night gigs, I find that my drumming is generally a lot slower. The timing is consistent throughout the songs, but I just start them slower. When I'm playing early gigs or had a ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you successfully share another drummer's kit at a show?

The typical indie band showcase has 2 or 3 bands on a bill, and it usually makes logistic sense to share a backline (drums, bass amp, and maybe guitar amps). Some stage managers, or entire festivals, ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Basic Punk Rhythm Guitar--Snare Feels Like Down Beat

I'm a pretty good guitarist, and I can play some tricky rhythms (weird time signatures, syncopation, some of the easier djent stuff) but I've always had trouble when my drummer starts to play anything ...
17
votes
6answers
24k views

Electronic drums in apartment

I'm a drummer and recently moved into an apartment with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I have a Roland TD-4. I've been researching for ways to be able to practice quietly without disturbing my ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I develop an interesting or challenging 8-Beat rock rhythm?

The band I play with generally wants a simple 8-beat rhythm but I can find it a bit boring to play! So I'm looking for suggestions/tips/sheet music/video on how to develop a standard 8-beat drum ...
14
votes
1answer
9k views

Difference between a ride and a crash/ride cymbal

What are the main differences between a crash, ride and a crash/ride? I ordered a 22" ride, but the retailer accidentally ordered a 22" crash/ride. I want a bright jazzy tap, and don't plan to ever ...
13
votes
4answers
22k views

Is there such a thing as a silent drum set?

One can learn to play the piano on an electronic or midi keyboard with closed headphones without waking up the roommate. Is there anything equivalent for drumming? Some sort of nearly silent drum ...
13
votes
6answers
12k views

Rhythm/Drum exercises without drums

I am a 24 year old computer engineering student who just have started playing drums. I spend on avarage 1 hour on bus to school and 40-60 min on exercise like running, biking, etc every day. My point ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

Music Theory for a Beginning Drummer

I've been learning Drums for the past few months (lifelong dream, and I should have my very own kit in 36 hours or so! \o/) and my teacher has been teaching me how to sight-read. I'm doing quite well (...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

Composing For Drums as a Non-drummer

As an instrumentalist I am primarily a guitarist, but as a composer I write for a range of instruments. The one thing I am particularly struggling with is writing for drums. Although I've managed to ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

Which would benefit my band the most, learning covers or writing originals?

I've been playing the guitar for nearly four years, and I think I'm getting better at it.My brother plays the drums, and our two cousins play the guitar well. When we had all met last time, we wanted ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

How should I go about choosing a beginner drum kit?

I'm thinking about getting a beginner drum kit, and am hesitant to make the jump for fear of either buying a lemon or not being as interested as I'd have hoped. Things to consider: 24 years old Into ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Keeping both hands (and arms) strong for better stick control

Since there aren't many drumming or percussion related questions, I will start this out with one of my own. As a drummer of almost 20 years, I still have a weaker left hand (and arm), despite trying ...
11
votes
8answers
7k views

Should I retrain myself to be a right handed drummer?

I'm in a slightly strange situation. I have been playing the piano ever since I was a kid, and have in recent years taken an interest in drumming. Not having consistent access to a real drum kit, I ...
11
votes
7answers
22k views

What is the most effective, structured way for an adult beginner to learn drums without a teacher?

I've wanted to play the drums since I was kid. I tried to learn when I was 11 but I lacked the psychological confidence to keep myself on it - my teacher at the time had learnt by banging on his ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is forward momentum?

I've heard the words "forward momentum" in different context referred to music but I couldn't find any definition for it (and it might very well be that it is used with different meaning in different ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

“Standard” drum notation alternatives

For the purpose of playing live, working through ("popular") songs involving verse, chorus, bridge, intro, outro, etc., is there a standard notation that drummers use to help them know what to play, ...
11
votes
7answers
9k views

John Bonham's bass drum technique

I've been playing drums for a number of years off and on, and one thing which has always eluded me is how the (amazing) John Bonham managed to get quite so much out of his right foot. The classic ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Soundproofing a room for drum set practice

When I practice my drums in the house, it tends to be a little too loud for people in other rooms. While I know I could trade-in my drums for an electronic kit as an alternative, I'd really rather ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

Can the bass be used instead of drums?

I noticed how there's not a lot of drums in orchestral classical music, in comparison to today's beat-based music. Do they get away with that in the orchestra by having instruments in the bass range ...
10
votes
5answers
25k views

How do i differentiate a crash cymbal from a ride cymbal which looks so similar

Today I was practicing for a drum performance in school and I didn't know the positions of the crash cymbal and ride cymbal were different from the usual drum set up. I only realised the mistake ...
10
votes
6answers
16k views

Can you learn how to drum with the game Rockband 3 and e-drums?

I play the piano (on a low level) but want to try something new. I stumbled on the console game Rockband 3 where you can attach a real e-drum set (the Roland TD9-SX seems to work) and play the game ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a paradiddle?

I have very recently tried to get a bit into very basic drumming and often read phrases like: "Start with practicing Paradiddles" or even "Paradiddlediddles". I got that far that this has something ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Which tones or sounds can be made with a cajon?

When playing the cajon, I know that the sound of the snare can be obtained by hitting the upper left and right corners of the cajon using the fingers and moving the wrist only. The sound of the bass ...
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Can I make Electronic Drums even more quiet?

I live in an apartment and recently bought a Yamaha dtxtreme III. Luckily I live on the bottom floor and have no one under me, however the drums are facing a wall that I share with my neighbors. The ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Drums: stiffening up when going for 'intense' fills

I have had a consistent issue for my entire drumming 'career', which is that I tend to really tense up - my shoulders, arms, posture, everything - when I go for fast fills. I am not a taught or even ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any way i can increase the life of my drum sticks?

Is there any way I can improve how long my sticks last, and prevent chips, splints and cracks? As a metal drummer, I find that I am playing a lot of rim hits. Whether I have nylon tips or wood tips, ...
10
votes
3answers
570 views

Is a very cheap drum kit an impediment to learning?

A national discount chain is offering an adult drumkit for £50 (about US$80). I've often fancied getting my hand in as a drummer. I don't ever expect drums to be my main instrument, but I would like ...
10
votes
6answers
357 views

How to close the gap between ideas and capabilities when improvising?

I'm a drumset player. I just finished a B.A. in Percussion Performance, marched 4 years of DCI drum & bugle corps, and am now working on a degree in jazz studies. As I've begun to play more and ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What factors affect the loudness of a drum?

Is it the size of the drum? The width? The length? Particular body materials? Particular head materials? Given that there are a hundred different kinds of drums in the world with very different ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

tips for writing the drum notes to a song in a band

I play the drums in a band, and the song has already been written and everything that the vocalist, guitarist and bassist will play. The drums were left out and I have to write them to fit the song. ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What would you call all-drum instrumental music?

I'm trying to find the title for music containing all percussion instruments (pianos/xylophones not included) such as drum corps and marching band drum breakdowns. I'd basically like to listen to ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Where are the bow, bell, and rim on a ride cymbal?

Hitting a ride cymbal on the bow, bell (dome/cup), and rim will produce different sounds. Bow Bell / Dome / Cup Rim Where exactly are the bow, bell, and rim on the RC, and when are they typically ...
9
votes
6answers
17k views

Cajon as Alternative to Drum Set?

The first time I saw this Cajon drum is during a performance by a band in a shopping mall. The band uses keyboard, guitar, violin and a Cajon. I though that box is actually a digital drum kit. And ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Samba percussion for songwriters

I'm a song-writer (a guitar player) and I need to write drum parts for myself. I discovered how cool the brazilian samba carnival percussion is (not the watered down European jazz-samba), but haven't ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

How to prevent snare rattle?

When I play my drum set, the toms make the snare rattle. Also, some pitches played by guitar or bass will make it rattle. I've tried tuning all the drums to certain pitches (somewhat effectively), but ...
9
votes
2answers
357 views

Why does American traditional music (e.g. old-time fiddle, folk, bluegrass, etc.) exclude drumming?

I'm a trained percussionist who for years has appreciated traditional American folk music. I've also been frustrated for years by the complete lack of any drums in this music. I've searched the web ...
9
votes
1answer
444 views

Closed hi hat and foot hat at the same time?

I'm just learning how to play the drums and I'm stumped by the notes on the staff in the book I'm practicing with. It has a closed hi hat and a foot high hat that you're supposed to play at the same ...
8
votes
5answers
7k views

10,000 Hours Regime - Drums

I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hours To Master A Skill theory. I've picked up a set of drumsticks for the first time in my life 3 months ago, at the age of 21. The barriers, as they sit ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the challenges I might face when I switch from electronic drum-kit (Yamaha DD65) to an acoustic drum-set?

I currently play drums on a Yamaha DD65. Never played on an acoustic before. So I was wondering what kind of issues I might have when I switch. Is there anything I should keep in mind when I play on ...